Today, to coincide with Science Week 2018, the winners of ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2018 are announced as POWERSCOURT NS from Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow at primary school level, LORETO SECONDARY SCHOOL, Kilkenny at secondary school level, and LACKAGH FORÓIGE GROUP at Community Level.
Winning videos were selected from a total of 175 entries from more than 80 schools and community groups around Ireland, by a panel of judges including aeronautical engineer and astronaut-candidate Norah Patten, BT Young Scientist and Technologist of the Year 2018, Simon Meehan and comedian and TV presenter Dara Ó Briain, who said:
“I was delighted to be a guest judge in this year’s competition and see how much enthusiasm, knowledge and energy is pouring out of Science classes across the country!”
Based in NUI Galway and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative, the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and the Cell EXPLORERS programme, ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenges Irish schools and community groups to communicate science and technology via engaging and educational short videos. Since being launched in 2013 by Dr. Enda O’Connell and a team of volunteer scientists, this challenge has been met by more than 10,000 participants in 350 schools and groups around Ireland. Special guest judge Norah Patten said of the programme
“I think this is a fantastic initiative because the students are not only learning about a scientific topic – they are also developing skills to communicate what they’ve learnt. These types of hands on, practical projects will be really valuable as they progress through to the next stage of their career.”
All videos will be shown to the general public as part of the Galway Science and Technology Exhibition, held in NUI Galway on Sunday, 25th November.
Primary School Winners
The panel selected ‘Science and Me: The Skin‘ by Powerscourt NS from Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow as the best video at Primary School Level, winning €1000. Norah Patten commented that it was “nice to see all of the kids participating. Lots of easy to understand science communicated. Love the Lego part, very easy to understand and well planned. Any age group could watch this and learn something new from it” while Dara Ó Briain commended the “strong involvement from the class” and that there was “loads to learn” from the video.
Secondary School Winners
The animated biopic ‘Rosalind Franklin: A Lesser Known Science Heroine‘ from Loreto Secondary School Kilkenny transition year students, Emer Tobin and Katherine Morrow, claimed the CÚRAM-sponsored first prize at Secondary School Level. The video was described by Dara Ó Briain as “A really good topic, beautifully presented” while Simon Meehan was “delighted that Dr Franklin’s work was brought to light in this manner and given a chance to be publicly recognised.”
Community Group Winners
Lackagh Foróige group member Sean Janson demonstrated the ‘Science of Smashing’ with equations, experiments and “tons of personality” to win the CKI-sponsored first prize at Community Level. Norah Patten praised Sean for “trying to put some maths and science to smashing. Great job on front of the camera!” while Dara Ó Briain liked that the science on screen is “experimental science. It’s repeatable, properly explained and has tons of personality!”
Primary School Runner-Up
Perennial high achievers Gaelscoil Riabhach from Loughrea are back again this year with an “impressive” video called “Eratosthenes agus Imlíne an Domhain” from their sixth class students, measuring the circumference of the Earth in collaboration with Katastari Primary School in Greece. Dara Ó Briain praised the video as “A simple experiment but a profound result– plenty of input and understanding demonstrated – plus, very repeatable.”
Secondary School Runner-Up
Familiar faces Jakub Szymonik and Alex Polchowski, sixth year students from St. Mary’s College Galway are back this year with a “nicely communicated, clear and confident” video entitled ‘Mythbusters: Did We Evolve From Monkeys?“. Dara Ó Briain praised the video for its “good energy” while Simon Meehan said it was “well designed, engaging and an interesting use of resources available.”
Community Group Runner-Up
“A Normal Day In Pompeii“, described as having “loads of class” by Dara Ó Briain was produced by Keira and Amy from Westside Youth Project, with the help of Eileen Kennedy from NUI Galway. Norah Patten congratulated the girls on a “great job at explaining the history of Pompeii, the eruption of Vesuvius and why volcanoes erupt. Well done on taking the initiative to do this”
Primary School Third Place
Scoil Mhuire gan Smál from Carlow claimed third place at Primary School Level with a fifth class video about “The History of Dinosaurs!“, a big favourite for scientists of all ages. Judge Simon Meehan praised “a very creative and engaging display of facts about dinosaurs using clay models, with reference to meaning of terms and precise facts“, while Dara Ó Briain recognised all of the “effort gone into the animations” and was “delighted to see so many of the class involved.”
Secondary School Third Place
Adam Kelly and Sam Enright, fifth year students from Skerries Community College in Dublin, produced a “very polished” video entitled ‘How Does Sound Work?“. Norah Patten was particularly impressed saying the video was “Very clean and easy to watch and understand. Nice explanation of sound, good use of questions throughout to engage, well planned and it answers the questions that come to mind. Great job!”
Community Group Third Place
The judges selected the video ‘Living with Parkinsons‘ produced by Galway Parkinsons Association, with help from Olivia Ng and Aitor Almanza from NUI Galway as the third placed video at Community Group Level. Norah Patten praised everyone involved: “Very well done, a difficult topic to communicate on but you did a fantastic job. The personal stories make the video very relatable so well done on capturing that. The intro captured attention right from the start. Great job at pulling together the interviews to explain what Parkinsons is and what it is like for people living with it.”